Tennessee Spring Football Game: 5 Things That Matter
What do you need to know about what happened in the Tennessee spring football game?
1. Quinten Dormady’s Very, Very, Very Good Day
It’s exactly what you wanted to see out of your new starting quarterback.
With heart-and-soul leader Joshua Dobbs done, the Vols needed Dormady to step up and be the main. All he did was hit all ten of his throws for 120 yards and two scores, throwing well on the move, hitting his downfield throws, and looking the part on his two big touchdown drives.
Redshirt freshman Jarrett Guarantano wasn’t bad, either, hitting 4-of-5 throws for 41 yards. So if the quarterbacks looked great …
2. The Receivers Did Something Right
It wasn’t just about the quarterbacks – even though they looked terrific. They spread the ball around well with plenty of midrange plays that kept the offense moving.
The pas catches had something to do with it.
No one target stood out and ripped it up, but Eli Wolf caught a 19-yard touchdown pass, Jauan Jennings made three catches for 23 yards and a score, and tight end Ethan Wolfe came up with some nice plays making three grabs for 28 yards.
More than anything else, the Vols showed off good depth and enough options to expect a the position to reload.
3. The Defense Didn’t Really Play Anyone
Okay, okay, the offense looked fantastic. It should. It faced a defense full of backups.
It was a real scrimmage for the offense against a defense almost entirely comprised of backups.
The top defensive linemen were held out, and most of the starters who did play saw limited action. Consider it a shocker if LB Landon Knoll plays a major role this season. He led the game with five tackles and a tackle for loss.
In other words, don’t just assume the Tennessee passing game is going to rip it up like it did on Saturday afternoon.
4. The Jalen Hurd-less Backfield Was …
The biggest moment for the Tennessee backfield was when the guy who was supposed to be last year’s running back star – Jalen Hurd – announced he was going to Baylor to play receiver.
The offense was mostly about getting the passing game going, but it would’ve been nice if one of the backs rose up and cranked out at least one good run. With Alvin Kamara gone, and projected No. 1 guy John Kelly sitting out with an ankle problem, the running backs failed to shine in the shortened scrimmage.
Carlin Fils-aime led the way with seven carries for 32 yards and a catch for six yards, and no one else took off for a run more than seven yards. Taeler Dowdy ran eight times for 22 yards.
5. The Winner? The Weather
All the fun was had in a hurry, thanks to a big storm that ended the spring game and all the festivities after just a little while.
It’s actually a good thing. Tennessee did what it needed to on offense, got the backups in on defense, and created the buzz needed around its quarterbacks and passing attack. There’s no reason to do any more. There weren’t big injuries, the coaches got to show off to the recruits, and it was generally a positive day.
Until the animals started walking by two by two.